A PhD’s Response on Whether Resistance Bands Can Build Muscle Like Weights

A PhD’s Response on Whether Resistance Bands Can Build Muscle Like Weights

One of the smartest and most accomplished individuals in the field of exercise science is Jose Antonio, PhD. Recently James Grage, Founder of Undersun Fitness, sat down with Dr. Antonio at the NSU exercise science lab and discussed how resistance bands compare to free weights for building muscle.


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  1. It all depends on your goals. For the average person who wants to build muscle and get fit bands are more than enough. Just don't expect to get as big as Chris Bumstead or anything.

  2. Bands are the way. I used to do bro splits, then I went to home sets with free weights, then I finally bought some bands.. and I am never looking back. I feel like the best workouts and gains I've made in my life have been with bands and I am in my late 30's looking better than I ever did in my 20's at the gym.

  3. I think bands are great! Great video!
    But, I’ve found for myself that adding in movements that load better in a fully stretched position & allow for freedom of the wrist and natural body movement overall such as dumbbells/rings/cables once a week + bands helps w hypertrophy.
    But, nevertheless older I get the more I’ve been gravitating my training towards bands to get higher frequency training without the taxing of the joints or recovery.
    I’ll be posting content on my channel about this subject soon.

  4. Bands are really good for squats and front squats, since im slanderand i have long limbs i Always fall foward with my back and i get mostly glutes activation, but doing front squats with bands i had the best quad pumps in years

  5. I've found that I prefer bands to barbells and dumbells, after more than a decade on Nautilus machines and using barbells and dumbells. Interestingly, though, after about three years with bands (at home, in place of gym equipment), I've begun also using supplementing with kettlebells and steel clubs, for the core stability effects over and above isolating certain muscle groups.

  6. If you want to try bands, I recommend you find ones made of synthetic rubber, not natural latex. Why? Because natural latex loses its elasticity gradually even before you take it out of the box. It will lose more with use. A high-quality synthetic latex will only lose elasticity with use. A lot of use. Don't overstretch it and it should last a long time. Also, I have a preference for flat bands. Why? Because you can layer flat bands up infinitely, with your only limiting factor being how many of them you can grip. For martial artists, climbers, marksmen and anyone else concerned with maximizing grip strength, it's likely your best option. If you can grip a lot of flat bands at once and stretch them, grabbing a sparring partner's keikogi in Judo or Jujitsu shouldn't be too taxing. Finally, I suggest you buy a big bulk roll and cut it to the length that best suit your stature and the types of exercises you see yourself doing with them. Besides layering them, you may want them to be long enough that you can quickly fold them or unfold them for drop sets — folding them double can double the resistance.

    Tempo is also an important consideration. Most of the time, especially with big compound movements, I like to stretch them as quickly and explosively as I can and then release them very slowly. However, for a lot of isolation ones or when I'm using extremely heavy resistance, everything will end up being slow and steady. If you anchor them to something, don't anchor them to something that will tear them and don't anchor them to something that you might slingshot into your face by accident, like a doorknob or shower rod. Lastly, routinely check them for signs of wear and tear. Keep them clean!
    If I helped someone get the most out of rubber bands, I'm glad.

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